We are still awaiting details about Wednesday night's officer-involved shooting. For now what we know is over here, and it starts like this:
According to the police account, officers on the HEAT team began following a car around the Holladay Park area after they saw it violate a traffic law.
The HEAT team (for those of you keeping track at home, that's the "Hotspot Enforcement Action Team" team) was formed, first temporarily in June 2008 to deal with a rash of gang crimes expected to increase in the warm summer months. It was extended to December because of its success and made permanent a bit later.
HEAT's mission, according to an Oregonian story back when the program was in its pilot stage, is to "Stem summer flare-ups of violence, particularly gang and youth violence, by maintaining a high-profile, uniformed presence in neighborhoods, parks and problem areas."
The team has been accused of racial profiling, and in a case last fall Officer Cody Berne said that race is “a factor I’d consider” in deciding who to pull over.
We're also still wondering whether the HEAT officer's car was marked, as he apparently followed the suspect for a while before pulling him over. That info is still coming, but the O story has a little hint on what the sort of rides the team is, uh, riding:
Some on the street have nicknamed the team the "jump-out boyz," because they're always stopping and rushing out of their cars. They've even named the two sergeants' unmarked cars: Passadore drives "Silver Bullet," Mendenhall "Dark Knight."
What makes Lloyd Center a "Hotspot" for the "Hotspot" Team?
The Lloyd District, according to a map distributed at Thursday's press conference, accounts for 14% (70) of all person-on-person crimes that occurred in the North Precinct from June 1 to May 11 this year. The Lloyd District area also accounts for 12% of the calls for service in that time. Lloyd center has, in the past three years, been the location of at least three separate shootings.
And according to Portland Police's CrimeMapper, Lloyd center has quite a bit going on.
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